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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

After Weatherford ultimatum, Pasco sheriff and PHSC strike agreement



At the urging of House Speaker Will Weatherford, the Legislature put language in the stated budget intended to end an ongoing dispute between the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and the Pasco-Hernando State College about management of the law enforcement academy they share.

It worked. The two sides have finalized a deal that allows the sheriff's office to determine who will direct the college's academy. According to the deadline Weatherford set, if a compromise hadn't been reached by Oct. 1 the academy would have lost accreditation. Weatherford said in May that both entities were to blame.

"The inability of both sides to find a compromise has been disappointing," Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, told the Times. "Despite much discussion, neither side has been able to overcome differences."

Today's paper has more about the agreement:

The Pasco Sheriff's Office and Pasco-Hernando State College agreed Tuesday night on jointly running a law enforcement academy.

After more than a year of conflict between the two agencies, the college's board of trustees approved the contract unanimously in a matter of minutes.

"We've toiled in this vineyard for a while," said board chairman Leonard Johnson.

... The crux of the agreement, proposed and signed by Sheriff Chris Nocco on Aug. 18, allows the Sheriff's Office to appoint an academy director, who will be an agency member. The appointment, according to a news release, will give the Sheriff's Office more say in the academy's instructor hiring.

The agreement comes 36 days before the deadline imposed last spring by House Speaker Will Weatherford, who stepped in as the rift between the Sheriff's Office and PHSC that began last summer dragged on.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 10:59am]


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